Marblehead resident Charlie Allen is the signature artist of Care Dimensions’ 23rd Annual Hospice Auction and Regatta, which will be held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead on June 16.
The hospice auction is Care Dimensions’ largest fundraiser, and proceeds support comprehensive and compassionate services for children and adults with advanced illness, death, and loss. It features an array of impressive travel excursions, sports items, and VIP experiences, plus Allen’s original painting, “Perfect Summer Day.”
Allen’s first exposure to hospice was in 2001, when his mother received end-of-life care from Care Dimensions (then Hospice of the North Shore) while living at the Lafayette Nursing Home in Marblehead. His mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I observed the tremendous service hospice gave my mother,” Allen said. “All of the hospice staff gave her such comfort and gentle care. My mother seemed so peaceful whenever the hospice team visited. This was very important for her, and it was very reassuring for me and my family. I dedicate this painting to her memory.”
Allen is a graduate of New England School of Art, Massachusetts College of Art, and Lesley University. He taught art for 30 years in the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District at the high school and middle school, and was the district’s Art Supervisor/Director of Art for several years.
Before he became an art educator, Allen worked at the Peabody Museum (now the Peabody Essex Museum) in Salem, MA. During his time there, he was asked to copy a marine painting. He developed a love of oils and painting, which led to multiple commissions and portrait work. He completed three portraits for the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA, and recently completed a portrait that is on display at the Swampscott Public Library.
In 1985, Allen was commissioned by the town of Marblehead to paint Marblehead Harbor as a twinning gift to Marblehead’s sister city of Grasse, France. This painting hangs in the Grasse City Hall.
Allen grew up in Salem, and his family has a long history in Salem and its maritime background. Drawing on these influences, Allen chose to paint Marblehead Harbor again for the Care Dimensions hospice auction. “Perfect Summer Day” is a 30 x 30” painting done on a wood framed panel. The scene depicts activity found in the harbor on a perfect summer day.
“I wanted whatever I painted to be a happy painting,” Allen said. “I feel I accomplished that with this picture.”
Allen said he extends a big “thank-you” to friend Jill Olson, kitchen coordinator at Care Dimensions’ Kaplan Family Hospice House, who recommended that Allen be considered as signature artist for this year’s Hospice Auction and Regatta.
“I feel honored to be able to do this,” Allen added. “I can honor my mother’s memory and hope the painting generates a high bid that will allow Care Dimensions to continue to help others who need compassionate care at the end of their lives.”